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  • 15 Oct 2015 4:49 PM | Osei Roach Benn (Administrator)

    THE MINISTRY of Agriculture (former Ministry of Food Production) has agreed to release information requested by the Heliconia Foundation since 2014, as it is related to the termination of persons employed at the ministry for the period 2010 to 2014.

    The Foundation and its vice-president of Finance Vyash Nandlal filed a judicial review claim against former minister Devant Maharaj, who they alleged failed to respond to their queries despite numerous Freedom of Information requests made by them for the information they sought. 

    When the matter was called before Justice Robin Mohammed in the Port-of-Spain High Court yesterday, attorneys for the ministry said they were now ready to produce the information. 

    The move by the State has brought an end to the matter, and it was ordered that the State pay the Foundation and its VP Finance legal costs. 

    The Foundation and Nandlal filed the claim in August, after they received no response to 15 pre-action protocol letters,which they sent to former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in May. 

    They asked for the number of persons terminated from the ministry from the period June 2010 to November 2014, as well as those whose contracts were not renewed, and the number of new persons employed during that period. 

    The Foundation was represented by attorneys Farid Scoon and Saeed Trotter. The Foundation also has a similar claim which is still before the courts against former Attorney General, Garvin Nicholas. 

    From Carib Daily

  • 25 Sep 2015 4:44 PM | Osei Roach Benn (Administrator)

    HELICONIA Foundation leader, Mike Walede Coppin, said he was glad to be made a Government Senator and promised to be a voice for youth, speaking with Newsday at yesterday’s Opening of Parliament.

    “I feel elated and excited but most of all I feel determined. I feel determined to use the opportunity that I have been given by the People’s National Movement (PNM) and Dr Keith Christopher Rowley to really make a positive change to Trinidad and Tobago. I think Dr Rowley has recognised the importance — more than previous prime ministers — of youth-participation in decision-making in the country. I think it’s really important because to be a truly representative government — of the people and for the people by the people — we can’t continue with young persons being under-represented in the corridors of power and chief decision-making chambers in the country. So I think it’s a positive step. 

    “I think that even the Senate President (Christine Kangaloo) remarked about the number of young persons on the Government benches in the Senate. So I think a good mix of maturity/ experience goes a long way with youthful exuberance and fresh ideas in a technological world that is evolving very rapidly. So we definitely need that perspective.” He said he is excited and determined to make a positive contribution in the Senate. 

    “I eat, drink, sleep Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad is in my DNA. 

    I’m just out to make a positive difference.” Coppin was born in Tobago, but spent his teen years in Trinidad and then went to England to study law. “Now is a time I can use what I’ve learnt to put it into practice, ad there’s no better forum than the Senate.” 


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